FirstMerit Tower

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FirstMerit Tower
General information
Location 106 King James Way, Akron, Ohio, United States
Coordinates 41°04′56″N 81°31′07″W / 41.082352°N 81.518480°W / 41.082352; -81.518480Coordinates: 41°04′56″N 81°31′07″W / 41.082352°N 81.518480°W / 41.082352; -81.518480
Completed 1931
Antenna spire 137 metres (449 ft)[1]
Roof 101 m (331 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 27
Design and construction
Architect Walker & Weeks[2]
First National Bank Building
Location 106 South Main Street, Akron, Ohio, United States
Built 1931
Architect Walker & Weeks
Architectural style Art Deco
NRHP Reference # 07000633[3]
Added to NRHP June 27, 2007[3]

FirstMerit Tower, also known as the First National Bank Building or the First Central Trust Building, is a skyscraper in Akron, Ohio that has remained the tallest building in that city since its completion in 1931.[2]

The building is art deco in style and is covered in glazed architectural terra-cotta.[4] It sits at the corner of King James Way and East Mill Street. It rises 27 stories to a height of 330 feet (100 m).[1] The building stands in the Cascade Plaza.[5] It is the centerpiece of downtown Akron. The building headquarters the eponymous FirstMerit Corp. and others. The lobby is built with Tennessee marble, white brick, and terra cotta, and features a large banking hall with arched windows.[2] The tower was built on the former site of the Hamilton Building, completed in 1900 in the neo-gothic style.[2]

Near the turn of the millennium the tower was given a $2.5 million facelift, including a $1.8 million restoration of the tower's terra-cotta, brick and limestone.[4] The painstaking process involved the removal of some 450 blocks weighing up to 75 pounds each for cleaning and reassembly. Over 1,100 other pieces of the masonry and tilework were repaired on site.[4] In 2007, the tower was again undergoing a restoration. Completed by Cleveland-based VIP Restorations, it includes repointing of all masonry and terra-cotta joints, repairs to the windows, structural restoration, and a restoration of the 13th floor parapet.[6] VIP Restorations also helped to get the building placed within the Nation Register of Historic Places upon the completion of the project.[3][6]

The top of the building has a television broadcast tower, formerly used by WAKR-TV (now WVPX-TV) and WAKR-AM.[7] The antenna reaches 134.7 metres (442 ft).[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d FirstMerit Tower at SkyscraperPage
  2. ^ a b c d e FirstMerit Tower at Emporis
  3. ^ a b c Staff (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  4. ^ a b c FirstMerit Restoration Archived March 11, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.,
  5. ^ Warsmith, Stephanie (7 October 2013). "Akron moving ahead with plans to improve Cascade Plaza". Akron Beacon. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  6. ^ a b FirstMerit, VIP Restoration
  7. ^ "Beacon Magazine: Scraping the Sky". Beacon Journal (Knight-Ridder). 1999-03-14. p. 13. 

External links[edit]

Media related to FirstMerit Tower at Wikimedia Commons